QT – YOUR GATEAWAY TO HA GIANG & CAO BANG

7 reasons to do the Ha Giang loop with a local guide

There are many ways to do the famous Ha Giang loop. You can go on an organized tour with a guide, ride your own bike, book a private van, take a local bus… In any of these ways, you can enjoy some of the most stunning views Vietnam has to offer. Moreover, the Ha Giang loop also allows you to learn about life and culture in the small agricultural villages scattered throughout the region. And of course, in Ha Giang you can also enjoy a wide variety of activities. Because this loop is not only about traveling along the routes that connect these villages and small towns!

One of the options for doing the Ha Giang loop is with a local guide. I did it with QT Motorbikes and Tours guide Nô and two fellow travelers. And believe me: this option can make your trip way more touching, rewarding and enriching. That’s why I chose this way to discover Ha Giang. Here are my 7 reasons to do the Ha Giang loop with a local guide:

1) Your local guide can take you to places you’d never arrive to by yourself

Ha Giang region is huge and just too beautiful. And just a few steps from the most famous stops along the Ha Giang loop there are hidden gems only locals know about.

The most adventurous among those who travel on their own may find one or two spots off the beaten track. But traveling with a local guide means accessing villages, shortcuts, alternative roads, trekking paths and local stalls or restaurants that you’d hardly find without their help.

Ha giang with a local guide hidden gems
Amazing view of rice fields from one of our stops

In addition, if doing the Ha Giang loop with a local guide it’s much easier to adapt the route to your interests. And not only that. With a local guide it’s also more effortless to modify your original plans according to how you feel or what you want to do on any given day. Because local guides know the routes and the possible activities along the way perfectly. And trust me: with such landscapes and such challenging roads, the least you want to do at a stop is to pray that Google Maps is updated and your mobile phone has signal right there where you’re standing

2) It’s an ideal option if you aren’t an experienced biker, even if you do ride your own bike along the way

The route along the Ha Giang loop isn’t impossible for inexperienced drivers. But it is, in parts, very challenging.

Ha giang with a local guide challenging roads
Challenging roads in Ha Giang

If you have no experience riding a motorcycle, and the possibility of riding your own throughout the mountains looks scary and stupid in your mind, doing the Ha Giang loop with a local guide means killing two birds with one stone. Because your guide can obviously be your driver too. And while driving along the Ha Giang loop can be an achievement itself, you know: safety first. And let me tell you that having a driver has its benefits: you will enjoy the landscape like no rider will.

My suggestion is to actually ride only if you have enough experience on the motorcycle. Or if, like me, you don’t, but you’re self-confident and a very responsible rider as well. In my case, my extensive experience cycling in a huge and quite chaotic city meant knowing traffic laws and trusting my ability to react on the road. Also, I know that, when faced with an unexpected situation, I react quickly and coldly, and I’m not paralyzed by fear.

With this background, I still wouldn’t have felt safe on the road if driving alone. Therefore, riding behind my guide was an ideal solution. In addition to avoiding checking on the map every two minutes, the guide riding ahead of me defined my speed. And he was also the one in charge of quickly reacting if meeting a vehicle coming from the opposite direction in a curve. Also, I didn’t even have to think about how far the next stop was, or how late it was. And of course, we never got lost. Ideal, right?! This way, I was able to ride throughout the loop with no fear at all. The route was always challenging, but also enjoyable.

In short, either not to drive or not to lead the way, traveling with a local guide can make your loop less dangerous and way more enjoyable.

3) Your local guide will be your entrance door to local culture

Unless you’re a fluent Vietnamese language speaker, your contact with locals will be quite limited if traveling alone or with other foreigners. And Ha Giang province is not just a pretty face. 23 ethnic minority groups live here. And a local guide is an ideal option to learn a bit about their different cultures, traditions and livelihood.

Ha giang with a local guide sunday market
A H´mong woman in the Sunday market at Dong Van

I’m going to introduce a warning here: your guide will not be an anthropologist. Nor will he have a TEFL certificate. But the guides do live in the area, and many of them were born in one of the small villages up in the mountains. And that means a lot of knowledge.

Nô, the QT Motorbikes and Tours guide who was leading our tour, belongs to the H’mong community. Therefore, he spoke the native language of most of the people in the region. That allowed us particularly welcoming encounters on more than one occasion.

On the other hand, one of the highlights of our trip was to divert a few kilometers out of the loop to visit Nô’ village. Nothing spectacular: a set of humble houses with farm animals and small plantations. Then why was it one of the highlights of our trip? Well, because meeting Nô’s family meant meeting and communicating with locals in a cheerful and familiar context. And we immersed ourselves, for an hour or so, in the real daily life of a H’mong village.

Ha giang with a local guide local culture
Our local guide Nô, her sister and her nephew in the shop his family has in a small town

Afterwards, we had to cancel one of the tourist stops we had planned because we were delayed there. Nobody cared, and we all agreed this visit was the highlight of the day. Also for Nô, of course, who took advantage of the loop to go greet his family.

4) You’ll try local food you’d never dared to if your guide didn’t promise it’s not dog meat

Being a vegetarian foodie is not easy when traveling. So many times I dreamt in Vietnam of entering a restaurant and randomly pointing at an item in the menu while looking the other way. Just like a superstar dropping the mic. But back to reality, I miss out trying so many dishes because I have no idea what they contain. Because no, I do not want to end up chewing dog meat by accident.

In Vietnam I was pleasantly surprised that they have tons of vegetarian dishes. It’s just a matter of knowing how to ask for them. And of course, that can be a bit tricky.

But traveling with a local guide, we could go one step further. Not only ordering food at restaurants was super easy. In addition, we stopped in stalls, both on the road and in the market, where we tried snacks we’d have never thought were vegetarians. Fried eggs, roasted corn and sweet potatoes, fried sweets, a very strange gelatinous drink made of soybeans… We tried so many delicious things all along!

Ha giang with a local guide local food
My friend Meri having an awesome veggie snack and a strange drink at Dong Vang Sunday market

And while this seems to be an interesting section for vegans and vegetarians only, don’t think ordering random stuff in a stand is that easy! Communication can be hard. And besides, yes, randomly pointing at an unknown item could end up with you eating delicious dog meat.

But there is more: in Mèo Vac we had lunch at a restaurant with a typical system of the area. You have to approach the sector where they have all the raw material (meat, vegetables and tofu), choose your favorite, explain what type of cooking you prefer, and finally sit to wait for it to be prepared. Vegetarian or not, finding this restaurant, understanding the system and communicating your request without speaking Vietnamese… can you imagine? I don’t have to add we ate a wide variety of food. And everything was delicious. Much better than the fried rice we’d have gotten on our own!

Ha giang with a local guide local food
Wonderful meal with fresh veggies and tofu in Mèo Vac

5) You’d be sharing a lifetime experience with a person from a different culture – and that can be inspiring!

Interacting with and learning from people from different cultures is usually the most enriching part of traveling. And by that I don’t mean telling your new dorm mate how long you’ve been traveling and what countries you’ve visited for the 23rd time. Not because your dorm mate isn’t interesting, but because you have, in principle, much in common with them.

Establishing peer-to-peer relationships with local people can be much more interesting than chatting with that other backpacker. Because that contact with the other is the one that teaches you about a different culture. And not only because of the information exchanged. Also for the dressing, the body language, the manners, the habits you can start recognizing after just a few minutes of conversation. And learning about another culture always means learning about one’s own and about oneself.

Finally, it’s not a revelation that a shared experience is much more memorable. Therefore, if you’re a brave solo traveler, doing the Ha Giang loop with a local guide is also an excellent opportunity to share chats, toasts and selfies with a Vietnamese friend.

Ha giang with a local guide new friends
Sharing awesome moments with our guide and Meri’s driver

6) You’d be contributing to young Vietnamese guys enjoying a decent and enriching job

In this remote area of North Vietnam, you can imagine job opportunities can be specially limited. And work conditions can be very harsh. In this context, riding bikes while teaching about the lands and the people they’re proud of seems like a dream. And it’s a pleasant and empowering job for young local guys indeed. What is more, it’s very helpful, as it allows them to improve their English skills and to develop their intercultural sensitivity.

For all this, when doing the Ha Giang loop with a local guide, you’ll be contributing to the local economy in general, and to a young person’s future in particular.

7) And most important: happy water & karaoke!

If choosing QT Motorbikes & Tours for your Ha Giang loop tour, you will sooner or later have an evening of  “happy water”. Sounds like an euphemism for some type of alcoholic beverage? Of course it is! At 8pm you’ll probably be quite cheerful. The thing is once you accept the first cup of corn wine before dinner, they will constantly fill your little cup. And every time one single person in wherever you are feels like taking a sip, everyone will be invited to join the round. And everyone means EVERYONE.

If you’re lucky enough (or if you fight for it, like we did!), it will all end up with what is arguably THE embodiment of contemporary Vietnamese culture: karaoke. And sharing a karaoke room with enthusiastic Vietnamese karaoke singers, after the happy water session, is, believe me, priceless.

And yes, you can also sing your favorite Christina Aguilera song.

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OUR WRITER

Natalia Boquet
Natalia Boquet
Language teacher & translator
Argentina

Besides traveling, Natalia enjoys cooking (vegetarian), biking, climbing and gardening. Her interests also include literature, movies and politics. She spent a month in Ha Giang in March 2019.

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… unless you’re ready to hire a tour, rent a bike or book accommodation with us.
Bear in mind we might have some answers to your questions in our FAQ!

The Combo – Hoang Su Phi & Northern Ha Giang Loop

5 days/4 nights

Price & Inclusion

At QT Motorbikes and Tours the tour prices differs due to several factors; the model you choose to drive, the number of riders, if you self-drive or decide to ride behind guide/driver. To give the most correct price please click ‘Book Now’ and we’ll get back with correct price.

Our aim is to give you a quality tour and memory for life. To do so our tours might not be the cheapest you find in Ha Giang, but as the saying goes ‘you pay for what you get’

Price includes (All-inclusive tour)
  • English Speaking Tour guide
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary (local Vietnamese food)
  • Drinking water, water or soft drinks during lunch, coffee and a smoothie where they can be found
  • Accommodation (mix of ethnic minority homestay and hotel (shared by two – single room for extra fee possible)
  • Quality genuine Japanese Motorcycles
  • Full cover bike damage insurance
  • All fuel cost
  • All entrance tickets & permits
  • Full or half-helmet, protective knee and elbow gear, basic rain clothes
  • Bungee cords & plastic cover for your bags
  • Free storage of excess luggage
  • Free dorm bed, when arriving on a night bus, at QT Guest House (03.00-08.00)
Price excludes
  • Gratuities & tips
  • Alcoholic beverages if not served on behalf of third party like homestay
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance

The Big Loop – Ba Be Lake, Cao Bang & Northern Ha Giang Loop

6 days/5 nights

Price & Inclusion

At QT Motorbikes and Tours the tour prices differs due to several factors; the model you choose to drive, the number of riders, if you self-drive or decide to ride behind guide/driver. To give the most correct price please click ‘Book Now’ and we’ll get back with correct price.

Our aim is to give you a quality tour and memory for life. To do so our tours might not be the cheapest you find in Ha Giang, but as the saying goes ‘you pay for what you get’

Price includes (All-inclusive tour)
  • English Speaking Tour guide
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary (local Vietnamese food)
  • Drinking water, water or soft drinks during lunch, coffee and a smoothie where they can be found
  • Accommodation (mix of ethnic minority homestay and hotel (shared by two – single room for extra fee possible)
  • Quality genuine Japanese Motorcycles
  • Full cover bike damage insurance
  • All fuel cost
  • All entrance tickets & permits
  • Full or half-helmet, protective knee and elbow gear, basic rain clothes
  • Bungee cords & plastic cover for your bags
  • Free storage of excess luggage
  • Free dorm bed, when arriving on a night bus, at QT Guest House (03.00-08.00)
Price excludes
  • Gratuities & tips
  • Alcoholic beverages if not served on behalf of third party like homestay
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance

The Hurry, Hurry Northern Ha Giang Loop

3 days/2 nights

Price & Inclusion

At QT Motorbikes and Tours the tour prices differs due to several factors; the model you choose to drive, the number of riders, if you self-drive or decide to ride behind guide/driver. To give the most correct price please click ‘Book Now’ and we’ll get back with correct price.

Our aim is to give you a quality tour and memory for life. To do so our tours might not be the cheapest you find in Ha Giang, but as the saying goes ‘you pay for what you get’

Price includes (All-inclusive tour)
  • English Speaking Tour guide
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary (local Vietnamese food)
  • Drinking water, water or soft drinks during lunch, coffee and a smoothie where they can be found
  • Accommodation (mix of ethnic minority homestay and hotel (shared by two – single room for extra fee possible)
  • Quality genuine Japanese Motorcycles
  • Full cover bike damage insurance
  • All fuel cost
  • All entrance tickets & permits
  • Full or half-helmet, protective knee and elbow gear, basic rain clothes
  • Bungee cords & plastic cover for your bags
  • Free storage of excess luggage
  • Free dorm bed, when arriving on a night bus, at QT Guest House (03.00-08.00)
Price excludes
  • Gratuities & tips
  • Alcoholic beverages if not served on behalf of third party like homestay
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance

The Standard Northern Ha Giang Loop

4 days/3 nights

Price & Inclusion

At QT Motorbikes and Tours the tour prices differs due to several factors; the model you choose to drive, the number of riders, if you self-drive or decide to ride behind guide/driver. To give the most correct price please click ‘Book Now’ and we’ll get back with correct price.

Our aim is to give you a quality tour and memory for life. To do so our tours might not be the cheapest you find in Ha Giang, but as the saying goes ‘you pay for what you get’

Price includes (All-inclusive tour)
  • English Speaking Tour guide
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary (local Vietnamese food)
  • Drinking water, water or soft drinks during lunch, coffee and a smoothie where they can be found
  • Accommodation (mix of ethnic minority homestay and hotel (shar by two – single room for extra fee possible)
  • Quality genuine Japanese Motorcycles
  • Full cover bike damage insurance
  • All fuel cost
  • All entrance tickets & permits
  • Full or half-helmet, protective knee and elbow gear, basic rain clothes
  • Bungee cords & plastic cover for your bags
  • Free storage of excess luggage
  • Free dorm bed, when arriving on a night bus, at QT Guest House (03.00-08.00)
Price excludes
  • Gratuities & tips
  • Alcoholic beverages if not served on behalf of third party like homestay
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance

The Combo – Hoang Su Phi & Northern Ha Giang Loop

5 days/4 nights

Itinerary

The tour may start with either Hoang Su Phi (2D) or the Northern Ha Giang Loop (3D) [possibility to extend the northern loop with more days]
Day 1: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Du Gia, approx. 120 km drive
After some breakfast, we go out on ‘Road of Happiness’ and start driving north out of Ha Giang City. We climb up the Quan Ba mountain pass and enter the Dong Van Geopark and reach the Heaven’s Gate and pass the Fairy Hills. In or around the small town of Tam Son we find our lunch. Thereafter we venture deep into Ha Giang mountains and reach the picturesque village of Du Gia. Here we will stay with an ethnic minority family at their homestay. We will have dinner and breakfast with the family. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 2: Du Gia – Meo Vac – (Ma Pi Leng) – Dong Van – Lung Cu – Dong Van, approx. 110 to 150 km drive

We say thanks to the family of the homestay and head north, passing some of the most magnificent mountain passes you will ever have seen, pass the town of Meo Vac (where we take lunch) and move up the majestic Ma Pi Leng mountain pass before reaching Dong Van, the most northern town in Vietnam. Depending on season (days are very short in December – February) and weather we may continue up to Lung Cu, the most northern point of Vietnam. The Lung Cu Flag Tower can be climbed for stunning views. Back to Dong Van where we take into a hotel or homestay as agreed for the tour. Maybe a Hot Pot for dinner?! (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3: Dong Van – Sa Phin – Yen Minh – Tam Son – Ha Giang City, approx. 150 km drive

If we are waking up on a Sunday in Dong Van the weekly big local market meets you before or after a breakfast. More ethnic minority groups than you can count have travelled on Saturday or extremely early on Sunday to reach here. Really colourful and people from near and far to do their weekly shopping and gossiping. Thereafter, we start our journey south. Soon we reach Sa Phin where we find the one-hundred-year-old palace of Vuong Chinh Duc – the King of H’mong people. We go down the Highland of Stone and reach Yen Minh where we take lunch and then climb a mountain pass covered in pine forest and sweeping rice terraces along our drive. Down to the Song La river valley until the road takes us up to Tam Son, over the Quan Ba mountain pass and back to Ha Giang where we stay the night in hotel. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4: Ha Giang – Tan Quang – Ban Phung, approx. 140 km drive

After breakfast we go 50 km down on highway QL2 to Tan Quang where we turn right onto road DT 177 and in and up a road that envelop us in the astonishing terraced landscape of Hoang Su Phi district. We explore some of the less travelled side roads and take in the landscape, the labour behind it and the daily life of the many ethnic minorities that populate the area. The night we spend close to the Chinese boarder in the picturesque village of Ban Phung at an ethnic minority homestay (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5: Ban Phung – Tan Quang – Ha Giang, approx. 140 km drive

Breakfast in the homestay after which we take time to walk the village and observe the daily life and great photo opportunities of landscape and people. In an easy pace we drive the valleys back down taking in the natural beauty. We arrive back to Ha Giang City around 4 pm where the tour ends. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch)

Disclaimer: While above itinerary outline the broad and most likely inclusions. At QT we are no firm believers in absolute programs. There are many reasons why things might have to be modified to situations and facts that may be both within the control and beyond when we embark on a tour.

The Big Loop – Ba Be Lake, Cao Bang & Northern Ha Giang Loop

- 6 days/5 nights

Itinerary

The tour may be done clockwise or anti-clockwise around the loop and will depend on driving skills, seasons and market-days.
Day 1: Ha Giang – Bac Quang – Na Hang – Ba Be Lake, approx. 245 km drive

After some breakfast, we on a ‘marathon loop’, but even if there are many kms to cover it is for a large part on easy roads where we make up distance at quite a speed. We go south out on highway QL 2 till we reach Viet Quang where we turn into road TL 279 and we will reach the small town of Na Hang where we stop for lunch. After lunch we ‘finally’ meet beautiful mountains roads taking us over a spectacular mountain pass before reaching the town of Cho Ra in late afternoon where we branch of and go down Ba Be Lake. Here we check into a nice Homestay by the lake and which will provide us a wonderful dinner, bed and breakfast. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2: Ba Be Lake
We will spend the full day on and around the lake. After breakfast we will enjoy a boat ride and explore the lake and its surroundings. The lakes have a lot to offer, including waterfalls, rivers, valleys and caves all set amidst picturesque landscapes. Lunch and dinner at the Homestay. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3: Ha Giang – Cao Bang – Ban Gioc Waterfalls, approx. 205 km
After breakfast we travel north up and down the ‘snake pass’ and stop for our lunch in Cao Bang City. We continue towards the Chinese boarder where at the end of the day meet the breath-taking Ban Gioc Waterfall which spans over 300 meters, split half and half between Vietnam and China. We spend the night in a Nung ethnic homestay and enjoy some traditional home-cooked dinner. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4: Ban Gioc – Cao Bang – Bao Lac, approx. 210 km
After breakfast we start the morning to discover the Nguom Ngao Cave, an impressive natural wonder with a cave that stretches for 2,144 meters underground and is brimming with incredible stalactites and stalagmites. Then it is time for a ride through beautiful landscape and nice roads until we reach the small town of Ba Lac where we take into a hotel for the night. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5: Ban Lac – Meo Vac – Ma Pi Leng mountain pass – Dong Van – Lung Cu – Dong Van, approx. 145 km
From Bao Lac town we continue north and connect to QL 4C or ‘Road of Happiness’ and start driving north towards Meo Vac where we take lunch. After that we will climb up the majestic Ma Pi Leng mountain pass. 22 km of stunning beauty and a road that just hangs off the mountainside. We will reach the most norther town of Vietnam, Dong Van, but we continue on to reach the North pole. Anyway, that is what the most northern point of Vietnam is jokingly called – Lung Cu and its famous flagpole tower which we climb and view China from the top. We return towards Dong Van where we stay in a hotel or homestay as what has been agreed. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6: Dong Van – Sa Phin – Yen Minh – Tam Son – Ha Giang City, approx. 150 km drive

If we are waking up on a Sunday in Dong Van the weekly big local market meets you before or after a breakfast. More ethnic minority groups than you can count have travelled on Saturday or extremely early on Sunday to reach here. Really colourful and people from near and far to do their weekly shopping and gossiping. Thereafter, we start our journey south. Soon we reach Sa Phin where we find the one-hundred-year-old palace of Vuong Chinh Duc – the King of H’mong people. We go down the Highland of Stone and reach Yen Minh where we take lunch and then climb a mountain pass covered in pine forest and sweeping rice terraces along our drive. Down to the Song La river valley until the road takes us up to Tam Son, over the Quan Ba mountain pass and back to Ha Giang. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch)

Disclaimer: While above itinerary outline the broad and most likely inclusions. At QT we are no firm believers in absolute programs. There are many reasons why things might have to be modified to situations and facts that may be both within the control and beyond when we embark on a tour.

The Hurry, Hurry Northern Ha Giang Loop

3 days/2 nights

Itinerary

The tour may be done clockwise or anti-clockwise around the loop and will depend on driving skills, seasons and market-days. For the tour to include Dong Van or Meo Vac weekly Sunday market it needs to start on a Friday morning.
Day 1: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Du Gia, approx. 120 km drive

After some breakfast, we go out on ‘Road of Happiness’ and start driving north out of Ha Giang City. We climb up the Quan Ba mountain pass and enter the Dong Van Geopark and reach the Heaven’s Gate and pass the Fairy Hills. In or around the small town of Tam Son we find our lunch. Thereafter we venture deep into Ha Giang mountains and reach the picturesque village of Du Gia. Here we will stay with an ethnic minority family at their homestay. We will have dinner and breakfast with the family. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2: Du Gia – Meo Vac – (Ma Pi Leng) – Dong Van, approx. 110 km drive
We say thanks to the family of the homestay and head north, passing some of the most magnificent mountain passes you will ever have seen, pass the town of Meo Vac (where we take lunch) and move up the majestic Ma Pi Leng mountain pass before reaching Dong Van, the most northern town in Vietnam. Depending on season (days are very short in December – February) and weather we may continue up to Lung Cu, the most northern point of Vietnam. The Lung Cu Flag Tower can be climbed for stunning views. Back to Dong Van where we take into a hotel or homestay as agreed for the tour. Maybe a Hot Pot for dinner?! (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3: Dong Van – Lung Cu - Sa Phin – Yen Minh – Nam Dam, approx. 120 km drive

If we are waking up on a Sunday in Dong Van the weekly big local market meets you before or after a breakfast. More ethnic minority groups than you can count have travelled on Saturday or extremely early on Sunday to reach here. Really colourful and people from near and far to do their weekly shopping and gossiping. Thereafter, we start our journey south. Soon we reach Sa Phin where we find the one-hundred-year-old palace of Vuong Chinh Duc – the King of H’mong people. We go down the Highland of Stone and reach Yen Minh where we take lunch and then climb a mountain pass covered in pine forest and sweeping rice terraces along our drive. Down to the Song La river valley until the road takes us up to Tam Son, over the Quan Ba mountain pass and back to Ha Giang. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch)

Disclaimer: While above itinerary outline the broad and most likely inclusions. At QT we are no firm believers in absolute programs. There are many reasons why things might have to be modified to situations and facts that may be both within the control and beyond when we embark on a tour.

The Standard Northern Ha Giang Loop

4 days/3 nights

Itinerary

Day 1: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Du Gia, approx. 120 km drive

After some breakfast, we go out on ‘Road of Happiness’ and start driving north out of Ha Giang City. We climb up the Quan Ba mountain pass and enter the Dong Van Geopark and reach the Heaven’s Gate and pass the Fairy Hills. In or around the small town of Tam Son we find our lunch. Thereafter we venture deep into Ha Giang mountains and reach the picturesque village of Du Gia. Here we will stay with an ethnic minority family at their homestay. We will have dinner and breakfast with the family. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2: Du Gia – Meo Vac – (Ma Pi Leng) – Dong Van, approx. 110 km drive

We say thanks to the family of the homestay and head north, passing some of the most magnificent mountain passes you will ever have seen, pass the town of Meo Vac (where we take lunch) and move slowly up the majestic Ma Pi Leng mountain pass before reaching Dong Van, the most northern town in Vietnam. If one is up to it we can climb up to the ruins of the French fort and get a stunning view of the towns and its surroundings. Exploring the Old Quarter of Dong Van might be what others may enjoy after a long day on the bike. Stay in hotel or homestay as agreed for the tour. Maybe a Hot Pot for dinner?! (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3: Dong Van – Lung Cu - Sa Phin – Yen Minh – Nam Dam, approx. 120 km drive

If we are waking up on a Sunday in Dong Van the weekly big local market meets you before or after a breakfast. More ethnic minority groups than you can count have travelled on Saturday or extremely early on Sunday to reach here. Really colourful and people from near and far to do their weekly shopping and gossiping. Thereafter, we go to the North pole. Anyway, that is what the most northern point of Vietnam is jokingly called – Lung Cu. We can climb the Lung Cu Flagpole and view China from the top, then we turn south and when we reach Sa Phin we visit the one-hundred-year-old palace of Vuong Chinh Duc – the King of H’mong people. We go down the Highland of Stone and reach Yen Minh where we take lunch and then climb a mountain pass covered in pine forest and sweeping rice terraces along our drive. Down to the Song La river valley until the road takes us towards the village of Nam Dam where we check in with a lovely Dao ethnic minority family in their home and enjoy dinner and breakfast with them. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4: Nam Dam – Lung Khuy – Tam Son – Ha Giang City, approx. 70 km drive

We enjoy village life after breakfast, walk around the village and might go up to the local waterfall. Then we go and explore the Lung Khuy cave. We take lunch in Tam Son after which we will explore a stunningly beautiful side-loop that connect us back to Road of Happiness and back to Ha Giang City where the tour ends. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch)

Disclaimer: While above itinerary outline the broad and most likely inclusions. At QT we are no firm believers in absolute programs. There are many reasons why things might have to be modified to situations and facts that may be both within the control and beyond when we embark on a tour.

TOUR BOOKING FORM

    * If open and we find other travellers to join price per person will come down (we max groups to six persons)

MOTORCYCLE BOOKING FORM

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